This is part one of a multi-part tutorial that suggests a long term strategy designed to produce a problem-free install, and a quick reinstall if problems should arise again — with the proviso that you spend a one time spare afternoon preparing the necessary files and materials. The strategy is intended to produce long term results and far less down time.
What you’ll need:
OS X install DVD – Tiger, Leopard, or Snow Leopard retail disc.
USB2 or FW drive large enough to hold disc images for all applications, and important data on your boot drive. Note USB drives are only bootable on Intel Macs.
This lesson will take about two hours.
Locate your retail install disc for Leopard or Snow Leopard and mount it on your desktop. Then open Disc Utility, which is located in Applications/Utilities and launch it. You will be presented with the following screen.
Click on the MacOS X Install DVD listing on the left side of the Disk Utility, and then click on the New Image icon on the top of the box. In the Save As box, name the image you are saving as “SnowLeopardInstall,” or something similar, and keep all settings the same as shown here. “Save as” the image to your desktop.
A progress bar appears as the image is being copied as a dmg image file to your desktop. The process should take about10 to 15 minutes depending on how fast your DVD drive is, and the size of the image. Snow Leopard install discs, for example are about six gigabytes.
The next step is mount your USB2 or Firewire hard disk drive on your desktop. One consideration that is critical here is the size of this drive, because it will hold not only the OS X install DVD image, but disc images of all your application installs, and any critical files that you use daily including iTunes, photos, address book backups, Mail, etc. A 150GB drive should cover most installs, but a 250GB or larger HDD is optimal. A bus powered Firewire 500GB drive is recommended and should cost approximately $100.00, or a USB2 drive bus or externally powered will also work well. Remember that only an Intel Mac will boot from a USB2 install HDD.
In Disk Utility, locate the proposed install HDD in the left volume pane, and then click on the partition button at the top of the Disk Utility box. In the Volume Scheme drop down menu, choose 1 Partition – Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The screen should like like this:
Click on the Options Button, and elect GUID Partition Table, and then click on the Okay button. Then click on Apply and allow the drive to be formatted. You may need to rename it anything wish, but I designed it as “One Install HD.”
Next select the One Install HD drive icon (or whatever you have named it) on the left side of the Disk Utility and Drag it into the elongated box to the right of the word Destination. Everything should look like this:
Once completed, a new volume will appear on your desktop and the following screen will be presented — exactly like your Leopard or Snow Leopard Install DVD.
Test what you have created by going to your System Preferences/Startup Options to confirm that your Firewire or USB2 drive is an boot option. It should appear as an option. Then quit the installer, and wait for Part 2, coming soon.